Food and some stories....

Tag: salad

Asian noodle salad

It’s the New Year, and I think I have to finally break the self imposed exile from the blog and before I forget wish you all a very Happy New Year!!!  My last blog post was about salads and I had promised all of you three salad recipes.  Today I am going to share a very interesting Asian noodle salad recipe and after having it you will never find salads boring ever.The best part about this salad is that it’s hot, spicy, very refreshing for the palate and is a complete meal in itself. Since trying out this recipe I have already made it twice in the space of two weeks, that’s how awesome it is. And I make it in huge quantities, so there are lots of leftovers; you can eat it straight out of the fridge.

My inspiration for this salad is Thai food and the secret to this is the dressing. Once you get the dressing right, you mix and match with any vegetable combination that you might be fond of. Also I insist on the rice noodles, you can try with other noodles but it’s just not the same. I have used shrimp, but you can substitute it with any other protein like leftover chicken or fried tofu. Alternatively skip it altogether for a lighter version.

Asian Noodle Salad



¼ cup lime juice

¼ cup rice vinegar

1 tsp grated ginger

Couple of large garlic cloves

4-5 Thai red chillies (you can change the amount depending on the level of hotness desired)

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp vegetable oil/olive oil

1-2 tbsp fish sauce

Salt and fresh ground black pepper


350 Gms of rice noodle/ rice vermicelli

Quarter of small cabbage thinly sliced

Half a carrot finely julienned

1-2 Thai red chillies thinly sliced

2 large scallions thinly sliced

½ cup roasted peanuts coarsely chopped


200 Gms shrimps

Some Thai basil finely chopped

Some fresh mint leaves finely chopped

Fried onions (optional)


In a bowl combine the lime juice, rice vinegar and ginger, I usually like to mince the garlic and chillies together with a pestle and add. Add the balance ingredients listed under dressing and mix well. You can change up the quantities as per your taste, depending how spicy or sweet you would like.

Cook the noodle as per the directions in the package. Season the shrimps with salt and sauté them in a little oil till pink, which usually takes about a minute and a half each side, for medium sized shrimps. Place the noodles in a large salad mixing bowl and the veggies, and the herbs and the peanuts. Pour the dressing and toss to coat well. Season as per taste. Add the shrimp and garnish with scallions and peanuts and fried onions.*


*to make fried onions chop onions and fry them in oil till brown , soak excess oil and air dry.

Watermelon and Feta salad

Around the world, people are celebrating the arrival of cold weather and with it warm soups and rich food to warm the body and mind. Well we in Mumbai beg to differ from the world, so while everyone is preparing for fall, amchi Mumbai has been clocking 34 degrees every day, hardly fall you would agree!! Which is why I can still relish watermelon and feta salad; one of my favourites and probably the easiest things you will ever make. I’m not sure if it qualifies as cooking!!!

This salad is so refreshing, it’s better than ice cream in my book. It looks like a dream and tastes like heaven in your mouth. Perfect for those long hot summer months; when all you want to do is drink lots of water and avoid anything heavy. It’s healthy and delicious, perfect combination in my book.  And it works because of the contrast of the flavours, the sweet watermelon and the salty feta.

What do you need,  a watermelon, some feta cheese and some herbs. This salad needs to be eaten fresh, and by that I mean, make it and eat it. You cannot let it sit, as watermelon, releases a lot of water, the longer you wait, more watery it will become, and the flavours will be lost. So I would recommend that you assemble the ingredients but wait to make the salad; right before you eat it.

Let’s make it


1 small Watermelon cut into cubes (preferably deseeded)

1/3 cup olive oil

2-3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 cup chopped fresh mint

1 and ½ cup crumbled fresh feta cheese.

Salt and pepper to taste

Handful fresh parsley


In a small bowl, mix together the oil, vinegar and salt and pepper to make the dressing. Pour it over the cut watermelon along with the chopped mint, toss gently to coat.

Add the crumbled feta cheese and the parsley and blend in gently to integrate without losing the texture of the cheese. Serve.

Watermelon and Feta salad




Salad days-Crunchy green salad

You know what I really enjoy in my travels through Europe, the amazing variety of salads in the menu, using fresh local produce. Eating healthy and clean has never been easier. Unfortunately my salad making skills were limited to mixing cucumber, onion and tomatoes together in a lime dressing, what in India we call kuchumber; nice but everyone gets bored with the same old! So I have been consciously trying to make new and fresh salads everyday at home, so eating clean doesn’t have to mean travelling to Europe!! 🙂 So in the  next few blogs I will share with you all the new salads that I have been attempting to make. And today we will start with the most simplest of them all, I like to call the crunchy green salad.

This kind of salad can be a great accompaniment to any meal, as a side; or add a protein like chicken or smoked salmon and you can make it a main too. It totally depends on what you are in the mood for; I am just equipping you with the basics, like the building blocks of a great salad.

I have used a mix of greens, like arugula, different kinds of lettuce, rocket and some purple cabbage leaves, as the base, you can choose any you like. Do remember to wash them well, dry with a kitchen cloth and tear them to bite size.

The secret to a good salad, and especially my crunchy green salad is some nuts to add the crunch element, and I have used some candied walnuts; you can use  roasted walnuts or roasted pine nuts for that additional zing to a simple salad. However I would recommend trying the candied walnuts, it takes the salad to another level. For how to make candied walnuts click here.

Crunchy Green Salad


100 gms of mixed greens

Finely shredded carrots

Candied walnuts

Handful mint or basil

Salt and pepper for taste

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp cider vinegar

½ tsp honey

Grated parmesan shavings

Crunchy Green Salad


First  start by making the dressing, slowly pour the oil in the vinegar and blend in, add the honey. I usually add the salt and pepper after putting in the greens; you can add the salt to the dressing and taste it before proceeding.

Blend the vegetables with the dressing add the herbs, and finally the nuts and the cheese just before serving. Crunchy green salad is ready to be devoured.


Some Mediterranean on my mind…

So it’s been a while I have been away from the blog, sometimes things just take a very different direction in life, and the motivation for the blog was just not happening. You can call it a bloggers block, if there is such a thing.  For me food is a passion and this blog is a result of that, I gain nothing commercially from this endeavour, so when the passion comes back, the blog entries start again.

Lately have been trying to do some clean eating, and experimenting with some salads and wanted a share this recipe with all of you, it’s amazing it’s so simple and easy to make but addicting in taste, I have already made it twice. Now before I go to the details-“a food realisation”, over the years experimenting and cooking I have realised the freshest of ingredients; cooked the simplest way results in the most amazing food. That is why you will see the greatest of chefs have this maniac obsession about sourcing the produce, they will wake up in the morning to get the best fish, travel far to discover amazing farms for the freshest of vegetables. And that is why I have realised that I get great pleasure scouring the markets buying vegetables and groceries, it’s addictive, and a great stress buster.

Sometimes you get great tomatoes or mushrooms from the market and that becomes the inspiration for the next dish. Ah! The small joys of life; and I love doing it even when I travel abroad. Do that the next time you are travelling some foreign land, try the local farmers markets, you will be pleasantly surprised. While on wanderlust, holiday alert, one exciting  trip coming up soon, so hopefully loads of food to share and write about; meanwhile over to the recipe.

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

350 Gms boiled chickpeas

1 can tuna drained and flaked

1 onion finely chopped

1 red pepper finely diced

4 tsp capers

Juice of one lemon

2 tbsp olive oil

Some fresh parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

3-4 cups salad greens

Roasted chia seeds


Combine beans, tuna, bell pepper, onion, parsley, capers, half lemon juice and 1 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl. Season with pepper. Combine the remaining lemon juice, 1 tablespoons oil and salt in a large bowl. Add salad greens; toss to coat. Mix in everything together, sprinkle some roasted chia seeds just before serving.




Tangy Potato Salad|For the love of potatoes

My husband loves potatoes, you ask him what he wants to eat, he will always say potatoes, always!! So obviously I know quite number of ways to make potatoes. In India, I think hardly there is any vegetable dish that does not get enhanced by the addition of potatoes, I consider it a staple food along with rice and chapattis.

Even in the western world meat and potatoes is considered a staple in many countries. In India, it was only in the 17th century that this vegetable was introduced by the Portuguese; imagine how the kitchens in India cooked before the arrival of this vegetable. Imagine the masala dosa without the aloo, or the vada pao without the aloo bhaji inside!!! No surprises, then it is the worlds most produced and consumed vegetable. I sometimes dread to think what if we had a potato crisis like the onion crisis we had a few years back, heads would roll!!

If you love potatoes and are tired of having only mayo based salads or just the regular aloo ki sabji then I have a potato salad recipe for you which is so simple that anybody can make it and also is so delicious that it gives the impression that you slaved for hours to create this flavorsome a dish. Anyways I personally think a few ingredients cooked simply have the potential to create massive flavours. A win win both ways wont you say? Over to the recipe.

Tangy Potato Salad

Tangy Potato Salad

Tangy Potato Salad


1/2 kg Potatoes(you can use new potatoes too)

Half a bunch green onions finely chopped

1/3 cup parsley finely chopped

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp Olive oil

Salt & pepper as per taste


Cut the potatoes into quarters and boil in salted water. Note: you dont want the potatoes too soft, so I would recommend avoiding the pressure cooker. While the potatoes are getting done, mix in the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.

Wait for the potatoes to cool down and then mix with the rest of the ingredients season with salt and pepper as per taste. Refrigerate for a couple of hours to enhance the flavour, or untill ready to serve. Bon appetit!

Spice up your life|bringing turkey home

Spice Market|Grand Bazaar; Turkey

Traveling is a passion and the thing that I most look forward to when I travel is too roam the local markets and discover the hidden treasures. Buy souvenirs for friends and bring back memories from the travels which last beyond the journey. So as a habit before I travel I definitely scour the internet to understand which are the definite buys from the country I plan to visit.

While I was doing research for the trip before turkey, I discovered that the country is well known for its spices and particularly for a kind of red pepper unique to the country. Red pepper which is flaky in texture; intense red or orange in color and is also known as pul biber. It’s a pepper which without burning your palate gives a unique color and flavor to the food. It has a unique aroma, with a touch of saltiness (as salt is used while drying) and raisin like flavor. It can be used in place of red pepper or paprika.


So the mandatory trip to Grand bazaar was made (in my case multiple times), made easier by the fact that we were living right next to it. Nothing you might have read or heard about it really prepares you for the sight that this bazaar is! Even if you are a person who generally dislikes crowded places, which I must confess I am, cannot help but enjoy the spirit of this centuries old bazaar. I was mesmerized, hooked and enjoyed myself thoroughly bargaining with the shopkeepers.

So coming back to home I was desperately looking for ways to incorporate this exotic spice that I had brought back. I just didn’t want to substitute it into any other recipe for red pepper. Easier choice would have been to try and make a kebab of sort like the locals, but I am recently trying to eat healthy and was looking for such an option.

I finally found the Moroccan carrot & beet grated salad from ( Moroccan Grated Carrot and Beet Salad )as the perfect platform to try out this exotic spice. I just simply substituted the paprika in the recipe with the pul biber. I have never had a more flavorful salad and also a very tasty way to incorporate beets into my diet. Please find the recipe below:


Moroccan grated carrot & beet Salad


  1. Two cups carrots(grated)
  2. 1 cup beet(grated)
  3. ½ cup raisins
  4. ½ teaspoon pul biber(or paprika)
  5. ¼ tsp ground cumin
  6. ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Pinch of cayenne
  9. 2tbsps lemon juice
  10. 2tsps honey
  11. 2 tbsps mint leaves (optional)


Wash the grated beets gently under water to remove the excess color. Remove the excess water and mix with the carrots & raisins. In a small bowl mix together the balance ingredients to prepare your dressing and mix gently with the carrot & beet mixture. Rest the mixture for an hour to let the dressing blend in well. Blend in the mint leaves last before serving, however I choose to skip it, it’s up to you to use it or not. Serve chilled.


Moroccon Carrot & beet grated Salad

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